A Parenting Team?

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Centre for Family Research

Abstract

By five years old, 25% of children in the UK will have experienced the separation of their parents (Understanding Society 2018). It has traditionally been assumed by the public and courts of law that mothers should receive sole physical custody of their children, pushing them into single parenting despite shared legal custody with fathers. However, over the last two decades there has been an increasing shift towards shared physical custody, such that in 2018 leading experts called for a presumption of joint physical and legal custody, and by inference shared parenting (Braver & Lamb, 2018). Research outside the UK has found an advantage for shared parenting of children in joint physical custody across a range of domains, though noting some disadvantages, such as constant switching between homes (Nielsen, 2018). There is also a substantial body of evidence that conflict between parents, before and after separation, is associated with poorer child outcomes (Amato, 2001; Amato, 2010). It is estimated that 9% of UK families engage in shared parenting post separation (Peacey & Hunt, 2010), but there is no UK research on how children are faring in these families. What are relationships like within these shared parenting families? How do separated couples manage shared parenting? What is it like for children? If we are to address the UK policy drive to improve child and adolescent mental health (Department of Health Green Paper, 2017), it is imperative that we understand how separated couples manage shared parenting and how this effects children. Without this, potential targets for improving child adjustment and family life post-divorce are not well understood and decisions guiding parenting plans produced by courts are made upon assumptions and not evidence. I propose to use this fellowship to publicise and extend my research examining parents as partners to influence both scientific understanding and public policy.
I am a developmental psychologist and my doctoral research followed 200 mothers and fathers and examined psychological wellbeing and family relationships from pregnancy through the first two years of their first-born child's life. Despite an increase in fathers' involvement in childcare, the majority of research remains focused on mothers. My research explored whether the same factors (e.g., depression, couple relationship quality) influence both mothers' and fathers' parenting and how members of a couple impact each other. I found mothers', but not fathers', thoughts and feelings about their infant during pregnancy predicted the quality of their parenting during infancy. Whilst fathers' but not mothers' parenting over the first two years of life was more susceptible to outside influence, for example from mothers' behaviour and mental health and the quality of their couple relationship. These findings have important practical implications - mothers and fathers may need different types of support at different time points and helping one parent may lead to benefits for the other, which in turn may improve later child outcomes.
During my fellowship I will consolidate the research arising from my PhD to l enable me to pursue an independent career in academia. First, I aim to further publish and publicise the findings from my doctoral research. Second, I aim to develop my ability to translate research into policy and practice. Specifically, I will become associated with OnePlusOne, a national relationship charity, to develop content for their digital interventions for couples based upon my doctoral research. Third, I will test the feasibility of conducting the first UK study examining co-parenting after relationship breakdown. This pilot will ensure I will be in a well-informed position to develop my applications for further independent research funding which will enable me to extend the research field of parenting influences on child development and take my academic career to the next stage.
 
Description My ESRC PDF had 3 objectives: 1) Publish, 2) Policy and 3) Pilot.

1) Publish
One of my published papers, which built on work conducted during my doctoral research in developmental psychology and involved following 200 heterosexual couples across the transition to parenthood, demonstrated the importance of not assuming that the same factors equally influence mothers' and fathers' parenting.
I also published a paper with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, as part of a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries. This paper demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. I also secured a publishing agreement to be the first author, with two other co-authors, of a book on Family Psychology for Oxford University Press' Primer Series. The book is aimed at A Level and undergraduate students with the aim to provide a concise, up-to-date overview of the foundations and most influential theories and findings in family psychology and child development. There is currently no text available with a comparable aim. This will provide an important means through which to disseminate findings from my research, as well as other important findings within the field.

2) Policy
As a research associate at the charity OnePlusOne, a charity focused on improving couple relationships, I helped evaluate an intervention aimed at improve couple's ability to share stress and communicate across the transition to parenthood as part of a Department for Work and Pensions project. The intervention - Me, You and Baby Too - was successful in helping to reduce conflict and increase couple satisfaction. During the fellowship I learnt more about how to translate research findings into (i) interventions, (ii) policy briefings for civil servants, and also developed a strong working collaborative relationship with the charity to undertake future research together.

3) Pilot
I also interviewed parents and children about their experiences of shared parenting post separation or divorce, as well as interviewing key stakeholders (e.g., family lawyers, charities who support separating couples) on the priorities for future research. This important data is helping to shape the development of a larger study examining co-parenting, family relationships and child adjustment in families who have experienced couple relationship breakdown.

My research is centred on the question of how families influence children's social, emotional and cognitive outcomes. To do this it is important to understand what predicts parenting and how best we can support parents. My research as part of my post-doctoral fellowship suggests we cannot assume universality of influences across mothers and fathers, nor across parents from different cultural contexts or at different points in their parenting journey.
Exploitation Route - Methodological contribution - I demonstrated that the prenatal attachment inventory is conceptually equivalent across 8 diverse sites.
- Empirical data - I collected novel data on experiences of co-parenting in families sharing parenting after separation and divorce. This will inform both my own future research and hopefully stimulate future research by others as well as collaborations.
- Policy - the Me, You and Baby Too digital intervention will be taken forward by OnePlusOne and hopefully used by other services supporting new parents making the transition to parenthood.
- Theoretical contribution - my research demonstrates the importance of not assuming that the same factors equally influence mothers' and fathers' parenting and that maternal centric models may need revising when being applied to fathers.
- Intervention - my research demonstrated parental cognitions underpin the link between depression and reduced sensitivity to infants' cues, suggesting a possible target for interventions to reduce the negative impact of postnatal depression on child outcomes.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description It is very early days to discuss the economic and societal impact of the research, however work conducted as part of my ESRC PDF is informing decisions relating to future interventions and policies that will best support parents to be good parenting partners, which in turn should help improve children's social, emotional and academic outcomes. First, my work with the charity OnePlusOne helping to evaluate an intervention to reduce couple conflict across the transition to parenthood is being used by family support workers across different local authorities. Second, my pilot research examining shared parenting after couple relationship breakdown and divorce will shortly be contributing to ongoing debates about Family Justice Reform, in particular it has been discussed with the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and will be informing a funding application to examine ongoing redesigns of systems in place to support families.
First Year Of Impact 2021
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Department for Work and Pensions Report
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact I was involved in the evaluation of a digital intervention 'Me, You and Baby Too' that was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, Challenge Fund Programme. As detailed in our report - The Best Start: Phase Two Evaluation of the 'Me, You and Baby Too' Digital Resource. Dr Shannon L Hirst, Dr Sarah Foley and Jenny Reynolds - the intervention led to a reduction in couple conflict. In addition, given the break-out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the evaluation explored the feasibility of a 'blended approach' to digital learning - which involved comparing outcomes for those who completed the digital intervention with a family support worker in person versus those who accessed it only online, as well as exploring the feasibility of delivering online training for family support workers. These findings will help inform future family interventions and the results will be reflected upon within the DWP in terms of future funding/roll out.
 
Description Widening Participation Fund, Cambridge Admissions Office
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2020 
 
Title Shared Parenting Pilot Data 
Description I conducted a pilot study to assess the feasibility of conducting a larger-scale research project examining the family and child outcomes associated with variability in shared-parenting arrangements. To this end, I interviewed 10 experts (e.g., family solicitors, lawyers, family law academics, charitable organisations, intervention groups) in order to assess the current gaps in knowledge in terms of the empirical evidence necessary to help improve outcomes for parents and children, discuss recruitment strategies and discuss pathways to impact for future research. I also interviewed parents and children within shared-parenting families to pilot the research methods, assess the feasibility of online data collection in light of the pandemic and inform research question formulation and pathways to impact. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This pilot project is informing the development of a larger grant proposal examining the family and child outcomes associated with variability in shared-parenting arrangements. 
 
Description Estrangement During Lockdown 
Organisation Edge Hill University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I was involved in survey design, data management, quantitative data analysis and report writing.
Collaborator Contribution StandAlone - recruitment, interpretation and dissemination. Edge Hill University - survey design, qualitative data analysis and report writing.
Impact Report: Family Estrangement and the COVID-19 Crisis: A closer look at how broken family relationships have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis https://www.standalone.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Standalone_Report_v7.pdf Report picked up by media outlets and featured on the University of Cambridge webpage.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Estrangement During Lockdown 
Organisation Stand Alone
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I was involved in survey design, data management, quantitative data analysis and report writing.
Collaborator Contribution StandAlone - recruitment, interpretation and dissemination. Edge Hill University - survey design, qualitative data analysis and report writing.
Impact Report: Family Estrangement and the COVID-19 Crisis: A closer look at how broken family relationships have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis https://www.standalone.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Standalone_Report_v7.pdf Report picked up by media outlets and featured on the University of Cambridge webpage.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation Babes-Bolyai University
Department Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Country Romania 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation Health Services Academy
Country Pakistan 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation Hue University
Country Viet Nam 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation Queen's University Belfast
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Institute of Criminology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University of Cape Town
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University of Ghana
Country Ghana 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University of Kelaniya
Country Sri Lanka 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University of Stellenbosch
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University of West Indies
Country Jamaica 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evidence for Better Lives Study 
Organisation University of the Philippines
Country Philippines 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am currently collaborating on a prospective longitudinal study of 1,200 infants from eight low- and middle-income countries, and recently published a paper as first-author with colleagues in Jamaica, Vietnam, Ghana, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan, which demonstrated for the first-time the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used questionnaire of maternal-fetal bonding. This work extends my doctoral research examining the transition to parenthood by considering the extent to which findings are similar or distinct across socially diversel contexts. I am also an active member of the early career research network and have delivered across-site training on interviewing parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project partners collected and manage the research data. Members of the consortium also provide support in developing manuscripts - both in terms of reviewing and contributing to my first-author paper, but also the chance to be a co-author on other publications arising from the data. I have also been invited to attend seminars and workshops by the consortium.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving psychologists, public health researchers, criminologists, psychiatrists, social workers and medical professionals. Output: *Foley, S., Hughes. C., Murray, A.L., Valdebenito, S., Baban, A., Fernando, A.D. Madrid, B., Ward, C.L., Osafo, J., Sikander,S., Walker, S., Thang, V.V., Tomlinson, M., Fearon, P., Shenderovich, Y., Marlow, M., Chathurika, D., Taut., D. & Eisner, M. (2021) Prenatal Attachment: Using Measurement Invariance to Test the Validity of Comparisons Across Eight Middle-Income Countries. Archives of Women's Mental Health. Co-author: Murray, A.L., et al. (submitted) Measuring antenatal depression across the world: A validation and cross-country invariance analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) in eight diverse low resource settings
Start Year 2019
 
Description OnePlusOne 
Organisation OnePlusOne
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Research Associate at OnePlusOne: translating research into policy and practice 1. Government-funded (DWP) intervention project: "Me, You, Baby Too" - digital intervention to increase dyadic coping across the transition to parenthood. Involved in intervention evaluation: recruitment, data collection, analysis and report writing. 2. Government-funded (DWP) intervention project: "Seeing It Differently" - digital intervention to reduce inter-parental conflict for hard-to-reach communities. Involved in intervention evaluation: focus-group. 3. Ongoing collaboration: ESRC New Investigators Award development. Development of research questions, plans, recruitment and dissemination strategies with team. 4. Contribution to policy discussions - prepared policy briefings on impact of COVID-19 pandemic on family functioning for Director's meetings with civil servants and ministers preparing the government budget.
Collaborator Contribution I became a member of the team at OnePlusOne and so was treated to privileged information about ongoing work with policy makers. I have developed ongoing collaborations for future research plans with the aim of informing the development of their digital interventions to reduce couple conflict and to promote co-operative shared parenting post relationship breakdown.
Impact The Best Start: Phase Two Evaluation of the 'Me, You and Baby Too' Digital Resource. Dr Shannon L Hirst, Dr Sarah Foley and Jenny Reynolds. Supported by the Department for Work and Pensions, Challenge Fund Programme.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Shared Parenting Post Relationship Breakdown 
Organisation OnePlusOne
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The partners have helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact - these are all important steps towards completing my pilot study of shared-parenting post separation and divorce and developing my ESRC New Investigators award. For example: - Resolution - I will present at their annual conference and contribute to information distributed to family solicitors which informs discussions with parents. - OurFamilyWizard - I am going to present at an upcoming webinar to family law professionals on child adjustment in the context of shared-parenting arrangements.
Collaborator Contribution Each organisation has helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact.
Impact Resolution have helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact (e.g., attendance at annual conference, contributing to information distributed to family solicitors).
Start Year 2020
 
Description Shared Parenting Post Relationship Breakdown 
Organisation Only Dads and Only Mums
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The partners have helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact - these are all important steps towards completing my pilot study of shared-parenting post separation and divorce and developing my ESRC New Investigators award. For example: - Resolution - I will present at their annual conference and contribute to information distributed to family solicitors which informs discussions with parents. - OurFamilyWizard - I am going to present at an upcoming webinar to family law professionals on child adjustment in the context of shared-parenting arrangements.
Collaborator Contribution Each organisation has helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact.
Impact Resolution have helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact (e.g., attendance at annual conference, contributing to information distributed to family solicitors).
Start Year 2020
 
Description Shared Parenting Post Relationship Breakdown 
Organisation Our Family Wizard
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The partners have helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact - these are all important steps towards completing my pilot study of shared-parenting post separation and divorce and developing my ESRC New Investigators award. For example: - Resolution - I will present at their annual conference and contribute to information distributed to family solicitors which informs discussions with parents. - OurFamilyWizard - I am going to present at an upcoming webinar to family law professionals on child adjustment in the context of shared-parenting arrangements.
Collaborator Contribution Each organisation has helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact.
Impact Resolution have helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact (e.g., attendance at annual conference, contributing to information distributed to family solicitors).
Start Year 2020
 
Description Shared Parenting Post Relationship Breakdown 
Organisation Resolution
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The partners have helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact - these are all important steps towards completing my pilot study of shared-parenting post separation and divorce and developing my ESRC New Investigators award. For example: - Resolution - I will present at their annual conference and contribute to information distributed to family solicitors which informs discussions with parents. - OurFamilyWizard - I am going to present at an upcoming webinar to family law professionals on child adjustment in the context of shared-parenting arrangements.
Collaborator Contribution Each organisation has helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact.
Impact Resolution have helped with pilot study recruitment as well as discussed ongoing research design and opportunities for dissemination/pathways to impact (e.g., attendance at annual conference, contributing to information distributed to family solicitors).
Start Year 2020
 
Description i-FAM COVID-19 Consortium 
Organisation University of Pavia
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Towards the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the beginning of UK lockdown, I was invited to join a collaboration to examine the impact of the pandemic on family functioning. The consortium has brought together developmental psychologist across 6 countries with very different experiences of lockdown (UK, Italy, China, Australia, USA and Sweden). I have been involved in recruitment, data management, data preparation, data analysis and am currently writing a paper on family processes that buffer the effect of COVID-19 related family disruption on child mental health difficulties, in particular looking to see whether couple relationship quality moderates these associations. I am also involved in another paper examining the beneficial effects of sibling relationship quality on child outcomes during the pandemic.
Collaborator Contribution The partners across the sites were responsible for recruitment in their sites. There are different research interests across the sites - with some sites taking the lead on different papers.
Impact 1x first-author manuscript in preparation: Family Wellbeing During the COVID-19 pandemic: an International Study of Risk and Resilience. 1x co-author manuscript in preparation: Siblings in Lockdown: A Six-Site Study of Protective and Risk Effects of Siblings on Child Adjustment Preliminary analyses contributed to a UK policy brief for the Department of Work and Pensions. Preliminary analyses presented at an public engagement event for 100 people hosted by Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
Start Year 2020
 
Description i-FAM COVID-19 Consortium 
Organisation University of Pittsburgh
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Towards the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the beginning of UK lockdown, I was invited to join a collaboration to examine the impact of the pandemic on family functioning. The consortium has brought together developmental psychologist across 6 countries with very different experiences of lockdown (UK, Italy, China, Australia, USA and Sweden). I have been involved in recruitment, data management, data preparation, data analysis and am currently writing a paper on family processes that buffer the effect of COVID-19 related family disruption on child mental health difficulties, in particular looking to see whether couple relationship quality moderates these associations. I am also involved in another paper examining the beneficial effects of sibling relationship quality on child outcomes during the pandemic.
Collaborator Contribution The partners across the sites were responsible for recruitment in their sites. There are different research interests across the sites - with some sites taking the lead on different papers.
Impact 1x first-author manuscript in preparation: Family Wellbeing During the COVID-19 pandemic: an International Study of Risk and Resilience. 1x co-author manuscript in preparation: Siblings in Lockdown: A Six-Site Study of Protective and Risk Effects of Siblings on Child Adjustment Preliminary analyses contributed to a UK policy brief for the Department of Work and Pensions. Preliminary analyses presented at an public engagement event for 100 people hosted by Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
Start Year 2020
 
Description i-FAM COVID-19 Consortium 
Organisation University of Queensland
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Towards the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the beginning of UK lockdown, I was invited to join a collaboration to examine the impact of the pandemic on family functioning. The consortium has brought together developmental psychologist across 6 countries with very different experiences of lockdown (UK, Italy, China, Australia, USA and Sweden). I have been involved in recruitment, data management, data preparation, data analysis and am currently writing a paper on family processes that buffer the effect of COVID-19 related family disruption on child mental health difficulties, in particular looking to see whether couple relationship quality moderates these associations. I am also involved in another paper examining the beneficial effects of sibling relationship quality on child outcomes during the pandemic.
Collaborator Contribution The partners across the sites were responsible for recruitment in their sites. There are different research interests across the sites - with some sites taking the lead on different papers.
Impact 1x first-author manuscript in preparation: Family Wellbeing During the COVID-19 pandemic: an International Study of Risk and Resilience. 1x co-author manuscript in preparation: Siblings in Lockdown: A Six-Site Study of Protective and Risk Effects of Siblings on Child Adjustment Preliminary analyses contributed to a UK policy brief for the Department of Work and Pensions. Preliminary analyses presented at an public engagement event for 100 people hosted by Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
Start Year 2020
 
Description i-FAM COVID-19 Consortium 
Organisation Uppsala University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Towards the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the beginning of UK lockdown, I was invited to join a collaboration to examine the impact of the pandemic on family functioning. The consortium has brought together developmental psychologist across 6 countries with very different experiences of lockdown (UK, Italy, China, Australia, USA and Sweden). I have been involved in recruitment, data management, data preparation, data analysis and am currently writing a paper on family processes that buffer the effect of COVID-19 related family disruption on child mental health difficulties, in particular looking to see whether couple relationship quality moderates these associations. I am also involved in another paper examining the beneficial effects of sibling relationship quality on child outcomes during the pandemic.
Collaborator Contribution The partners across the sites were responsible for recruitment in their sites. There are different research interests across the sites - with some sites taking the lead on different papers.
Impact 1x first-author manuscript in preparation: Family Wellbeing During the COVID-19 pandemic: an International Study of Risk and Resilience. 1x co-author manuscript in preparation: Siblings in Lockdown: A Six-Site Study of Protective and Risk Effects of Siblings on Child Adjustment Preliminary analyses contributed to a UK policy brief for the Department of Work and Pensions. Preliminary analyses presented at an public engagement event for 100 people hosted by Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Panel Member: Stories from Lockdown 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to present preliminary data from the i-FAM COVID-19 collaboration to a panel discussion on 'Stories from Lockdown'. The panel was streamed to an international audience of alumni from Newnham College, an all-women Cambridge college. The panel included policy makers, parents and charity workers and so presented diverse perspectives on lockdown experiences. The 1.5 hour event included a long question and answer session after the presentations, for example exploring international differences on the impact of the pandemic on parents' and children's mental health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to be a podcast panel member for an episode that formed part of a mini-series called 'Blood and Water' which explored diverse experiences of family. I was joined by a range of LGBTQ+ artists e.g., spoken-word poet, comedian. The podcast was part of a wider festival Mesa Festival - an interactive, multi-arts festival exploring the concept of family. The festival included a range of interactive ways to engage with London's creative community and beyond.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Reproduction Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to give a talk as a member of panel for the Cambridge Reproduction Special Strategic Research Initiative. This is a multidisciplinary audience - academics, researchers, clinicians across the arts, humanities and social sciences, biology and medicine who explore the urgent challenges posed by reproduction today. The talk was delivered online earlier on in the UK lockdown (April 2020) and centred on research originating from my PhD and ongoing work with that data exploring prenatal predictors of parent-child interaction quality. The talk had a lively question and answer session which led to follow-up discussions with several research groups about the use of the methodology I adapted for my PhD - this has now been implemented in a new study examining the experiences of pregnancy during COVID-19.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020